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Thread: New Boat 4 Sled

  1. #3031
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Spruit View Post
    the world i grew up in, getting 1 Gold Star was something you could brag about to your parents, and might get you a ride to the beach instead of going to church.
    5 stars might excuse you from mowing the lawn for a month.
    What I remember was if you had a really good day in first grade, the teacher would put a stick-on Gold Star on your forehead. I ended up about 8 years later chasing a different Gold Star: a Star Class World's Championship.

    The boat was Star #3497, HOLIDAY TOO, a Skip Etchell's built beauty. #3497, then named MENEHUNE, had literally landed at my feet one day as I was following a local Star class race while walking the shoreline of Newport beach. A bigger than normal southerly swell picked up MENEHUNE as her crew short tacked the beach and deposited the boat stern first into the sand. The stern was splintered forward to the cockpit, but the rest of the boat, except for the owner's pride, was undamaged. We bought the boat for a song from the insurance company, who had declared it a total loss, and set about making repairs, scarfing in new planks of mahogany.

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    Note the wood mast. Over several months I managed to gently plane 6 pounds off the leading edge of the spruce mast, getting the spar from 40 pounds down to 32 without ill effect. Lowell North, a master at keeping noodles up, got his lightened to 28 pounds using a red cedar core.

    In those days, hiking straps were not legal. My pants had pads sewn in the inseam.

    Winning the Star World's was and still is one of the toughest things in one design sailing. Southern California Gold Star winners were legendary and really good sailors. Lowell North (4), Malin Burnham, Bill Ficker, Don Edler, Don Bever all had won at least one Gold Star. They were all in our local fleet and we raced against them most every weekend with a combined crew weight of 220 pounds for myself and best friend as crew. Needless to say, we were fast in light conditions but suffered when the breeze got above 12 knots against the likes of Edler, who with 460 combined pounds on the rail had a quarter knot more speed up wind. To gain weight, we'd wear 4 or 5 sets of sweat pants and wool sweaters, and get them good and wet if we thought the breeze was going to be up, as it usually did after 1 pm on a Southern California afternoon.

    I wasn't alone on the steep learning curve. Tom Blackaller, a future Star Class World's Champ himself, could barely break out of the back half of the fleet with his all varnished Star GOOD GRIEF!

    We never won a Gold Star ...came close one year with a 3rd in Cascais, Portugal... Thanks for posting the 5 Gold Stars. Brought back good memories.

    And here's 3 minutes of modern day, professional Star Class Racing. 40 years after HOLIDAY III the winner gets $40,000. Check out the plethora of Gold Stars in this fleet. Even the best can break their mast in the storm that hits the last race. Yiii Doggies. Pretty competitive for a boat designed 119 years ago http://finals.starsailors.com/portfo...l-finals-2018/
    Last edited by sleddog; 02-16-2019 at 03:11 PM.

  2. #3032
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    With 3 layers of fleece I hiked to the Cliff this morning for sunrise. It was clear and cold just inland and 85 feet above Monterey Bay: 33 degrees and 10 knots of northerly wind felt like windchill of 27.

    The sun rose promptly at 6:55 over the still snow capped Diablo Range, north of the Salinas Valley. The sun's upper limb, as viewed through binos and sunglasses, twinkled emerald, back-lighting distance trees and providing a different sort of green flash.

    Before being too blinded I pivoted 180 to look west along the Cliff. Below, a wetsuit surfer was already out in water whose temp probably exceeded the air temp by 20 degrees

    As I watched the surfer, a bright ruby reflection in a soon to bloom willow bush about 50 yards distant caught my eye. It had to be, and indeed was, my hummingbird friend Andre's radiant throat and head reflecting the rising sun.

    I walked west till abeam of Andre', about 6 feet the other side of the Cliff fence.

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    Listening close in the quiet of the early morning, I could hear Andre' singing. I decided to return the favor and choosing between "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Stars and Stripes Forever," and "The Music Man," I whistled "76 Trombones (Caught the Morning Sun)" complete with oompahs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBQWsBiM5YY

    I'm pretty sure Andre' had not heard this tune whistled before, as he craned his shimmering ruby neck my direction as if to say "WTF is that??"

    Today at the Cliff ended on another high note. By 6:10 pm, a small crowd had assembled to watch the rise of the "Super Snow" Full Moon, bigger than usual on it's closest approach this year.

    We were not disappointed.

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    No doubt Andre' too was watching from his perch somewhere nearby.

    Standby for a 6.6 foot high tide tomorrow morning.
    Last edited by sleddog; 02-19-2019 at 10:26 PM.

  3. #3033
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    Mixed feelings about a species extinction reportedly because of climate change, while a single member of two different species thought extinct have been rediscovered.

    In Queensland, Northern Australia, in the Torres Strait, near the Great Barrier Reef small, ratlike rodents, the Melomys, could once be seen scurrying across the sand and coral rubble of the small, 12 acre Australian island of Bramble Cay.

    As late at the 1970's, fishermen would see Melomys, a rodent round in body and long in whisker and tail,
    when visiting the Bramble Cay, which is dotted with a few grass clumps, shorebirds and nesting sea turtles. But by 1992 the 1970's population of several hundred Melomys had dropped sharply.

    Since then, researchers have been unable to find any Melomys, and suspected the species had become "the first mammal to go extinct because of human-made climate change" i.e. rising sea level. Earlier this week, the Australian Environmental Minister confirmed the extinction with a statement that the Melomys had gone from "endangered," to "extinct."

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    Meanwhile, 1,000 miles northwest of Bramble Cay, in a little visited area of Indonesian islands, researchers from the environmental group Global Wildlife Conservation were probing into giant termite nests when what should appear but a single Wallace's Giant Bee. This bee, dubbed the "flying bulldog," has a wing span of more than 2 inches, is as long as your thumb, and enjoys mining termite resin with it's large mandibles.

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    The Wallace's Bee was thought extinct when the last two sighted and captured 38 years earlier were sold (dead) on E-Bay.
    Say what? The bee’s habitat is threatened by massive deforestation for agriculture, as well as mining, and the bee's size and rarity make it a target for collectors. There is, at present, no legal protection against hunting and marketing Wallace’s Giant Bee.

    On a happier note, 130 degrees of longitude to the east, on the Island of Fernandina, in the Galapagos, a single member of a species of giant tortoise believed to have been extinct for more than 100 years has been discovered on the Galapagos island of Fernandina, according to Ecuador's government.

    The last known time a Fernandina Giant Tortoise was seen alive was 1906.

    An adult female believed to be more than a century old was seen alive on Sunday during an expedition by the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI), according to a government statement.

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    Washington Tapia, GTRI director and expedition leader, said that genetic studies will be carried out to "reconfirm" that the tortoise found belongs to the Fernandina Island species.

    Experts believe she is not alone. The tracks and scent of other tortoises, believed to be of the same species, were also observed by the team. Conservationists have taken the tortoise to a breeding center on the nearby island of Santa Cruz.

    The Fernandina Giant Tortoise is one of 14 giant tortoise species native to the Galapagos Islands, most of which are endangered. The tortoises have been killed over the past two centuries, both for food and for their oil, according to the Galapagos Conservancy, which jointly forms GTRI with the Galapagos National Park."This encourages us to strengthen our search plans to find other (tortoises), which will allow us to start a breeding program in captivity to recover this species," said Danny Rueda, director of the Galapagos National Park.

    Yay for the Giant Tortoise!
    Last edited by sleddog; 02-23-2019 at 07:25 AM.

  4. #3034
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    If Andre' the Anna's humming bird weighs as much as a nickel, one of these critters weighs as much as a truck.

    With the recent government shutdown, a colony of elephant seals has taken over Point Reyes National Seashore, parking lot included.

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    Elephant seals, once nearly hunted to the point of extinction in California, are a common sight on the protected beaches of Point Reyes, a 71,000-acre preserve located just north of San Francisco along Marin County's windswept coast. (Per park estimates, roughly 2,000 of the fin-footed marine animals call Point Reyes home.) But because of Point Reyes' immense popularity amongst humans and elephant seals, park officials are often required to perform pinniped crowd control. This comes in the form of harmless hazing techniques — routine seal shooing, basically — so the two mammalian species can coexist peacefully.

    "We don't want visitors disturbing or harming elephant seals, and we don't want elephant seals harming visitors, either," Dave Press, head wildlife ecologist at the National Park Service-maintained preserve reported.

    But during the five-week partial government shutdown, furloughed park employees were unable to shoo the seals away from touristy areas. And that quickly led to the inevitable as a sizable colony of elephant seals descended on Drakes Beach, a normally people-filled stretch of sand where they'd long been verboten.

    Usually, 2,000 or so elephant seals usually stick to the more secluded Chimney Beach at the far southern end of the park. But winter storms and unusually high tides that occurred during the shutdown inundated sections of Chimney Beach, which resulted in the colony moving north to nearby beachfront property.

    With no one around to shoo them away from the newly colonized beach, pregnant females began birthing pups and the males, known for their aggression, colossal size (they can be up to 15 feet and 4,000 pounds) and grotesque-comical proboscises, began staking out territory. The occupation of Drakes Beach was complete.

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    "If you just get out of the way, wildlife will find their way in," says Press.

    Not just content with staking claim to a new beach, the colony eventually expanded into an adjacent parking lot as well as the wooden ramps to the visitor center.

    The giant mammals made their way onto shore and into the parking lot, knocking over a fence and some picnic tables in the process. Had workers not been furloughed, they would have shaken tarps at the seals in an effort to shoo the animals farther up the beach where they normally lounge. Instead, park staff is letting them stay put. The seals have since abandoned all but a sliver of the parking lot and claimed the beach as their own.

    When the longest shutdown in United States' history ended and it came time to fully reopen Point Reyes to visitors, it was clear that sections of the park — namely Drakes Beach — would need to be closed to the public until the colony — now consisting of 53 females, 10 extra-hefty bulls and 52 pups disperse naturally. And that's not happening anytime soon as pup nursing season won't conclude until late March or April, at which point the colony will thin out and human activity on the beach can resume as normal.

    "We are not going to interfere with that process whatsoever," park spokesman John Dell'Osso reported.

    While the beach, parking lot and visitor's center remain off-limits Monday through Friday, park rangers and volunteer naturalists are now leading limited — and very supervised — tours on the weekends in which visitors are afforded a much closer view of the blubbery beasts.

    This past weekend, visitors were treated to quite the show in the beach parking lot when two seals got frisky for an assembled crowd. To the uninitiated, mating elephant seals can be an alarming spectacle considering that females resemble large harbor seals and males, several thousands of pounds heavier than their mates, look like the result of an unholy union between Dumbo and a particularly unattractive walrus. And that's putting it kindly.

    "They came up to the parking lot to procreate. So that was lovely," Dell'Osso reported, adding: "It was noisy sex. And you could barely see the female."

    Roughly 1,300 visitors took part in the guided tours last Saturday alone.

    "People were incredibly appreciative to see these animals as close as you can see them," remarked Dell'Osso.

    Closer to home, a similar, even larger colony of elephant seals are also doing their thing 12 miles north of Santa Cruz, at Ano Nuevo State Park. https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=27613

    Thanks to the MAGIC DREAMERS for alerting to this article in MNN Earth Matters.
    Last edited by sleddog; 02-25-2019 at 07:05 AM.

  5. #3035
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    I'm going with Andre, the hummingbird, clocking in at ~50mph / 385 body-lengths per second.

    and yes, I googled the answer...
    though I did come across this fascinating article, so at least I learned some things in the process.

    https://www.wired.co.uk/article/the-...-a-fighter-jet
    DH
    Until Max proves us wrong with an SRI microrobotic, the fastest for its length is indeed Andre', our local Anna's Hummingbird. Andre's territory at the Capitola Cliff seems to cover ~ 200 feet horizontally, 150 feet vertically, 100 feet inland from the Cliff, and 30 feet down the Cliff face. These distances I've seen him cover in a blink of the eye. My "blink of an eye" observation is not as scientific as UC Berkeley wind tunnel tests that flew trained hummers against measured wind speeds and found they could fly approx. 385 bird lengths/second, faster than a cheetah, peregrine, or jet plane.

    Though I've occasionally seen Andre' chase a hawk overhead, it seems astonishing that hummers are hunted by, of all things, praying mantis.

    So David wins an introduction to Andre', who this afternoon was riding his willow twig as it whipped in the prefrontal 25 knot southeaster updrafts. Andre's seems to enjoy the rapid back and forth motion of his perch, which you or I would find most unpleasant.

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    Last edited by sleddog; 02-26-2019 at 10:28 PM.

  6. #3036
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    A live-aboard friend at Santa Cruz Harbor recently trailered his fiberglass foot sloop north to John Wayne Marina at Sequim, on the Olympic Peninsula. When asked why, he said he wanted to experience winter in the Northwest.

    Apparently, from the below pictures, he got his wish. There's no prize for this identification, but what semi-famous SSS design is my friend living aboard? (No, it's not an Igloo 27.)

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  7. #3037
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    Hmm. The flare of the topsides forward looks an awful lot like a Wilderness 30. (Too big for a Moore 24.) So does the partly recessed traveler. So I’ll guess it’s a Wilderness 30 with a sugar scoop although I’m not familiar with this particular boat.

    Tom

  8. #3038
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    I was looking at a yellow boat over on D dock Sunday. Its stern looks kindof like that. It was compared to Pretty Penny, but different. I forget the name of it, but it is a 1/2 ton Gary Mull design with a scoop cut out of the stern. Bob, what's the name of that boat? It didn't have snow on it. Thank goodness.

  9. #3039
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cover Craft View Post
    Hmm. The flare of the topsides forward looks an awful lot like a Wilderness 30. (Too big for a Moore 24.) So does the partly recessed traveler. So I’ll guess it’s a Wilderness 30 with a sugar scoop although I’m not familiar with this particular boat.

    Tom
    Bingo. Tom correctly identified Lenny Hewitt's Wilderness 30 SCARLET BEGONIAS. I thought the sugar scoop stern would throw you off. But no, this group is too good.

    Maybe it's time to temporarily move on from wildlife, and return to sailing by comparing the advantages and disadvantages of mizzens on yawls. I was mentally listing all the yawls I've sailed on in a lifetime of sailing and here's what I came up with: CHUBASCO, BOLERO, KIALOA, KIALOA II, SIMOON, TYPEE, MARIE AMELIE, KIRAWAN, and SURPRISE.

    Thanks to Hank Thor for sending this photo of just how pretty a yawl can be with the mizzen staysail drawing perfectly.

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  10. #3040
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    That’s a beauty!
    Nicely trimmed although I’m itching to ease the mizzen vang a bit. It took several generations of sailmakers and sailcloth manufacturers to develop spinnakers without tight leeches.

    Quite an impressive list of yawls. I’ve only sailed on two small cat yawls built by my dad.


    Tom

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